In Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, an old apartment is transformed into an event space earmarked for cooking lessons and demonstrations. The renovation took place in order to make the apartment building more attractive for its tenants, as a communal space where they can host social events and workshops.
Shoei Ltd, the company responsible for the project, wanted to create a space in the popular Brooklyn style combined with a DIY atmosphere encouraging for workshops and cooking lessons. In order to achieve this, we can see a strong presence of industrial influences, as well as folk elements.
We invite you to join us in exploring this before and after project, in which an old apartment is completely transformed into a modern creative space. Let's start!
The space allocation for this area had also been designed for a small apartment, not a cooking event space and workshop area. Therefore, this kitchen is small and limited in terms of working area. This is the first thing that had to change, since an extensive kitchen would be required for cooking demonstrations and workshops.
The kitchen space of the apartment, in its original form, was bland and unimaginative. The materials are outdated and dull. Vinyl flooring in a drab yellow colour looks lifeless especially in conjunction with the white and beige walls and kitchen tiles.
The renovation of the kitchen is very impressive indeed. This room looks entirely different than its predecessor, and now has the appearance of a professional kitchen, much like those found in the top restaurants and hotels of the world. This is expressed in sleek and shiny materials, minimal style, and a neutral colour palette.
The back wall of the kitchen is tiled in glossy, white ceramic tiles in the subway style. This is a simple tile pattern that is gaining popularity in current interior design trends. The white tiles create a clean and glossy composition as backdrop for the workspace.
The kitchen work top area, as well as the appliances are all in stainless steel, which is what gives this kitchen its industrial chic appearance.
Here we can see the main living room of the apartment, connected to the kitchen of the flat. The space is generous, with much room for an extensive workshop area, there is no need to alter the structural limits of the space to adhere to the client's requirements.
The aesthetics of the room, however, leaves much to be desired. The walls and ceiling are entirely white and bland. White boundaries are usually a great way to make a room seem bigger, but in this case it simply makes the space feel sterile and cold. The wooden laminate flooring in this space is also clearly old and worn, making the entire composition look quite depressing, even more so under the harsh fluorescent lighting which is concentrated in the centre of the ceiling.
Now to the transformed space, and what a transformation it is! The warm and inviting room we see before us now is worlds apart from the cold and distant hall we stood in just and image ago. The best part of the renovation is that the designers did not do much at all—with some simple, yet striking features, natural materials, and sound choice of colours, creative workspace is born.
Firstly, a significant change took place in terms of the room's boundaries. The floor had been stripped of the worn laminate, and replaces with a simple (yet currently popular) concrete floor, and this is echoed in the new ceiling. The back wall had been painted a rich charcoal colour, whilst the other walls remain in white. The contrast between these three tones creates a dynamic sense in the space, whilst all remaining in a neutral and warm palette.
The furniture added in the room makes a big difference as well. Most of the pieces are made of wood, bringing a soft and rusting feeling to the space—perfect for a kitchen environment! This is off-set by steel frames and chairs, just to bring in a trendy element.
The lighting scheme is now diffuse, as opposed to the previous central source. Several industrial-style ceiling lamps are attached to steel rails inserted on the ceiling, allowing for well-distributed light across the entire space. In addition, as we can see to the left of the image, these rails can also be used to display flowers and decorative items in the room.
We would also be remiss to mention the eye-catching, quilt carpet in the centre of the room, basking in the popular folk style and adding to the homey atmosphere.
Although we do not have a 'before' picture to compare the bathroom after the renovation to, we thought this quaint space was just too delightful too pass without mention.
Ensuring a clear and easy-to-clean space, the bathroom is almost entirely white—an example where sterile is not necessarily a negative description. We are sure that you will agree with us, though, that this bathroom is far removed from a boring or cold space. The designers created movement and visual interest through the use of slightly larger sized tiles on the walls than on the counter, whilst the floor consists of hexagonal tiles that allow for a wistful flower pattern to emerge. If you like this idea, take a look at more: Bathroom options that will floor you.
In essence, it is a bathroom streamlined to hold only what's necessary, but it does so in great style!